Subject of the Sentence

What is the Subject of the Sentence?

Understanding of the subject of the sentence is an important part of writing effectively. It can mean the difference between a good and bad quality piece of writing.

The subject of a sentence is simply what or who the sentence is about, though many people get confused when it comes to subject-verb agreement and what constitutes the subject in other types of sentences such as commands and questions.

In order to find a subject, you have to first identify the verb in the sentence, then ask yourself “who or what” is doing this action – that will be the subject. Knowing this can help you understand how best to word your sentences so that you never need to worry about making any mistakes!

Subject of the Sentence Rules

Learning these four critical rules when using the Subject of the Sentence will help communication become clearer and easier. With these four rules firmly entrenched in one’s grammar skillset, any English speaker can properly construct sentences with ease!

ApplicationCases of nouns should be applied in order to build meaningful sentences – cases like possessive, nominative, objective and genitive can all determine how a sentence is formed.
CapitalizationProper nouns need to be capitalized when written; failure to do so could create confusion or suggest incorrect punctuation.
DistinctionsAll English nouns have gender distinctions; for instance, all animate beings and things such as vehicles are classified as either masculine or feminine.
PluralizationMost singular nouns must be made plural in order to enable them to join sentences with other words.
Subject of the Sentence Rules and Explanations Table
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Examples of the Subject of the Sentence

The subject of the sentence is the word or phrase that identifies who or what is doing, performing, or triggering an action. The subject usually comes before the verb in the sentence and can be a:

  • Noun
  • Pronoun
  • Gerund
  • Infinitive
  • Clause

Examples of the subject of the sentence are: “The cat chased its tail,” “John read his book” and “We must take an afternoon break.”

Each subject in this sentence is either a noun (cat, John, we) or a pronoun (its, his), and they all do something; chase, read and take respectively. Understanding the subject of the sentence helps readers better follow and comprehend sentences as one of the most important parts of constructing a successful grammatical structure.

Subject of the Sentence Exercises with Answers


  • _ grow slowly.
  • _ plays the guitar.
  • The _ hid behind the sofa.
  • It seems as though _ has forgotten to do their homework.
  • _ can’t sleep past 6 am.


  • Cacti grow slowly.
  • Tony plays the guitar.
  • The cat hid behind the sofa.
  • It seems as though everyone has forgotten to do their homework.
  • Mother can’t sleep past 6 am.

Subject of the Sentence List

When it comes to cases of nouns, there are seven major types that people should know.

EveryoneA noun depicting all people.
You A personal noun.
HeA masculine noun.
SheA feminine noun.
AnimalA noun that is based on a creature.
VegetableA noun depicting food.
MineralA noun depicting earth material.
Subject of the Sentence List Table
English Grammar Learning Infographic

Advice for ESL Students & English Language Learners

Being an English language learner can be both a challenging and rewarding experience. Learning a subject as complex as a language can be intimidating, so the first thing to remember is to start small and focus on one subject at a time.

Start with basic grammar and spelling rules and continue making steady progress from there. It’s important to practice speaking and writing in your new language regularly, with native speakers or using available resources like online dictionaries or webpages focused on teaching English as a second language. Immersing yourself in the subject, like reading books written in the new language or watching movies without subtitles, can also help you learn faster. With dedication and consistency, you’ll be able to reach your goals and become proficient in this subject soon!

Additionally, it is important for learners to properly understand predicate noun and nominative case of nouns.

Common Mistakes Made by English Learners

One of the most common mistakes made by English learners is subject-verb agreement. In English, the subject must agree with the verb in number, meaning that a singular subject requires a singular verb and a plural subject requires a plural verb. This rule can become particularly complicated when modifiers are added to the subject or when negative words are used in the sentence. While native English speakers make subject-verb errors from time to time, these mistakes are especially common for those in the process of learning English as another language.

Common Mistakes:

1. Incorrect Tense

Why it Happens

Not having a firm grasp on correct noun usage can confuse your statements. This can cause you to use the wrong nouns and misconstrue your message.

Correct Use

When speaking English, you would use a noun that reflects the subject in question. Keep context in mind when selecting your nouns.

2. Lack of Nouns

Why it Happens

The easiest mistake is leaving out nouns when needed. Failing to use these in phrases can lead others to misinterpret what you are trying to express.

Correct Use

Nouns join words to a person, place, or thing – for example, ‘the cat meowed’ or ‘I love pasta’.

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3. Inconsistency

Why it Happens

People forget how they described something before and change the context in a contradictory manner. This confuses the reader.

Correct Use

Be sure that your nouns remain consistent throughout your writing. There should be no sudden shifts from ‘woman’ to ‘girl’ unless there was a clear shift in the thing being described.

4. Incorrect Usage

Why it Happens

You don’t know which nouns to use, so you use too many and it confuses the statement.

Correct Use

Using too many nouns can make your writing sound monotonous and can also lead to viewers losing interest. Therefore it is important to focus on expressing yourself clearly and effectively with them.

Tips to Avoid Common Mistakes:

  • To avoid subject-verb agreement mistakes, the subject of the sentence must always agree with the verb in number. This subject-verb agreement is essential to correctly constructing a sentence.
  • To make sure the subject and verb are in agreement, ask yourself if the subject is singular or plural. The subject should always determine the form of the verb used in the sentence.
  • Additionally, pay close attention to words which may be misleading such as everybody, nobody, and each; these words appear to be singular but are actually considered plural when referring to people as a collective unit and therefore require a plural verb form.
  • Making sure that subject and verb match can help eliminate common errors in sentences.
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Learning the Subject of the Sentence Strategies and Best Practices

Knowing how to identify the subject of a sentence is a fundamental part of understanding grammar. Thankfully, mastering this skill can be attained with some basic strategies and best practices.

Before attempting to locate the subject in complex sentences, it is best to familiarize oneself with identifying subject-verb agreement, as well as subject-pronoun agreement. After perfecting these skills, one can then apply them in context to determine a subject’s whereabouts. Reading comprehension techniques can take practice but are essential for establishing knowledge about certain sentence structures. Additionally, keep reading for more useful tips:

Tip 1: Study a List

Why it helps

Learning the various forms and using them properly in speaking and writing is easier than it seems with daily practice. A list can simplify this process and make it seem less daunting.

Daily Life Example

The best way to learn to use nouns correctly is to study a list of nouns and their usages, and then practice writing sentences with them.

Tip 2: Practice Reading

Why it helps

Exposing yourself to nouns hidden between other words can help you identify them faster and more accurately.

Daily Life Example

To ensure that you understand how frequently a type of noun should be used it’s important to practice reading with them as well, so the meanings become clear. So keep a book of your choice on hand and highlight every noun you come across.

Tip 3: Everyday Conversations

Why it helps

By applying the nouns exercise to everyday conversations, you’ll find these words easy to remember and use in the near future.

Daily Life Example

Take your time when speaking to people. Take note of the nouns they use, and try and repeat them back in different contexts. You can also do this from the comfort of your home by recording yourself or using an AI assistant.

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Subject of the Sentence Frequently Asked Questions

The subject of the sentence is a key part of any form of communication, as it helps to clearly outline the subject matter. For example, the subject can be a person, place, thing, animal or even an idea followed by an action verb. Examples of subject in a sentence include “The dog barked loudly,” “My friend visited yesterday” and “Nobody knows the truth.”

Additionally, some other examples would be “Robots are becoming more advanced,” “The city looks beautiful at night” and “Education is so important.” Pronouns such as I, he, she and they could also be subjects in certain types of sentences. Possessive nouns such as my and his can also take the subject role.

Furthermore, proper names like John or Anna are also considered subjects for sentences. Lastly, words such as everybody or nothing can serve as subjects depending on the context. It’s important to understand what direct objects are affecting the verb phrase as well. Knowing these various types of subjects in a declarative sentence will greatly help with improving your writing skills.

The subject of a simple sentence is the noun or pronoun that tells us what it is about. A simple subject example would be something like “The cat.” In this instance, the subject is “cat,” which is one word and easy to identify. Simple subject examples can also involve multiple-word phrases such as “My little brother” or “The bus driver.” Although these two phrases involve more words, they are still classified as simple subject examples because they refer to just one entity each.

It’s important for writers to accurately identify the subject of a simple sentence in order to create clear and effective messages.

A subject is part of a sentence that performs an action or is associated with the subject; it is usually the person, place, thing, or idea being discussed.

An object, on the other hand, acts as the recipient of the action performed by the subject in a sentence. Put simply, if you can identify who or what is doing something in a sentence (direct object), then you can identify the subject; if you can identify who or what something is being done to or for, then you can pinpoint the direct object.

Therefore, the subject and object are two essential parts of any sentence that help create meaning while also providing clarity to readers.

When it comes to grammar, the subject of a sentence can take several forms. There are three types of subjects: simple subject, complete subject and compound subject. A simple subject is one word (e.g. a tree). A complete subject includes all the words in a subject (e.g. The big old oak tree in my front yard). Lastly, a compound subject includes two or more related subjects (e.g. My mom and dad or The dog and cat).

Any additional type of subject matter, clauses and objects in a noun phrase may include: Direct objects, indirect objects, awkward subjects, subject in a sentence, nominative subject, subject in sentence, recognizable subject, pronominal subjects, accusative objects, subject concepts, alternative concepts, subject-less clauses, copular clauses, passive clauses, imperative clauses and entire phrases. 

A verb in a sentence is the action or state of being that the subject of the sentence (pronoun, noun, gerund phrase) performs. It describes how an action is done in a specific tense and can be used to express a complete thought.

Verbs can also be used to describe physical actions, mental actions and other processes. In many cases, verbs are often the most important part of a complete sentence as they are what drives it forward and can help the reader understand what is taking place.

Some other grammatical terms of verb conjugations include: intransitive verbs, verbal nouns, non-finite verb, and a wide variety of difference in verb forms. Common terms and common issues that can help you are: Inversion constructions, raising of predicates, complete predicates, dummy pronouns, Imperative sentences, collective nouns, relevant verb argument, locative inversion, subject-auxiliary inversion, drop language, nearest noun, predicative noun phrases, prepositional phrases, and other issues with subject to boost you concept of sentence structure. 

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